National Clinical Director for Dementia: Professor Alistair Burns

From NHS England bio: “Professor Alistair Burns is Professor of Old Age Psychiatry and Vice Dean for the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences at The University of Manchester. He is an Honorary Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist in the Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust (MMHSCT) and is the National Clinical Director for Dementia and Older Peoples’ Mental Health, NHS England.”

It is clear that Professor Alistair Burns has been thoroughly scrupulous in making declarations which confirm that he personally has had no financial competing interests since he took up post as National Clinical Director for Dementia (NHS England).

Prior to this, Professor Burns worked most extensively with the pharmaceutical industry and his declarations can be found with each of the research papers in which he was involved.

This is an account of a lecture that Professor Burns gave before he became National Clinical Director for Dementia for NHS England:

This podcast is Professor Burns, as National Clinical Director for Dementia, speaking outside Number 10 Downing Street, to Derek CEO of IXICO, 8th November 2012.

I wrote to Professor Burns at the time about transparency of interests generally amongst the key opinion leaders in Dementia. Professor Burns wrote to me to say that he thought I had “a profoundly negative view” on this matter. Yet, it was the case that Professor Burns had this open-letter published in the BMJ which gave no competing interests for any of the authors:


To return to the present:

In terms of my concerns about inconsistencies in declarations relating to the “Edinburgh Consensus”, Professor Burns has replied as follows [16 January 2018] “Thank you for your e mail, the contents of which I note”. I am concerned, given a repeated pattern here, that the National Clinical Director for Dementia (NHS England) may not be taking this matter as seriously as the General Medical Council guide in “Good Medical Practice”: